Layering Clothes: The T9 Guide to Staying Warm When the Temps Get Low

women snowshoeing in New Zealand

The key to staying comfortable, whatever the weather? It’s all about that layer. Layering clothing well takes a little prep work, but don’t sweat it—we’ve got all the layering basics you need to know to stay warm, dry and rock any winter adventure that comes your way.


Why Layer Clothes?

Layering clothing for winter helps keep us feeling just right, no matter the forecast—layers can keep us from being too chilled at the beginning of our workout or too hot in the middle. How to layer clothes is individual to every person (layers=our own personal thermostat) but once you get the basics, it’s a handy little skill that’ll come in useful again and again.

BACK TO TOP


How Do I Layer Clothes For Fall & Winter?

Whether you’re slaying the slopes or just sneaking in a quick hike, there are three main components to layering clothing for winter:

Base Layer: 
a snug-fitting, sweat-wicking foundation piece.
Mid Layer: 
an insulating piece (or two) to keep us toasty.
Outer Layer: 
a water-resistant or water-proof shell that protects us from the elements.

Each of these layering pieces work together to keep you going when the temps drop. Read on to get essential tips on how to pick the best layering clothes for winter.

base layer, mid layer, outer layer

BACK TO TOP


Base Layers Keep Us Dry

What is a base layer?

A base layer is just like it sounds—an undershirt or a bottom layer you put on first, so it’s the layer that’s most in contact with your skin. Its main job is to wick away sweat so your skin stays dry. This super important piece of the layering puzzle often gets left behind, but without good base layers and long underwear, you’re pretty much destined to be a sweaty, soggy (and when it’s cold outside, soggy=chilly) mess.

What should you look for in a base layer?

Keep it Snug: For a base layer to work their wicking magic, it has to be in contact with your skin, so a snug fit is best.

Know your Goods: Ditch the scratchies and look for quality materials that wick away moisture and are comfy to the touch.

• Merino Wool Base Layers: 
Forget your granny’s itchy wool, Merino wool underwear are top performing base layers when it comes to being wicking, stink-proof and ultra-cozy.
• Synthetic Base Layers:
Durable and easy to find, long underwear made out of polyester, nylon, spandex (or a combo) are super-wicking, comfortably stretchy and odor resistant enough to go days between washing.

Choose Your Weight: Base layers and women’s long underwear come in different weights, from light to heavy. While the best base layer weight for your activity is really up to you, remember: your base layer’s job isn’t to keep you warm—it’s to keep you dry. Deciding between a couple pairs of long underwear? We’ll always recommend going with lighter weight but better wicking. Leave the insulation to the mid layers!

BACK TO TOP


Mid layers: Keep us warm

What is a mid layer?

The job of a mid layer is to trap our body heat, keeping us warm, even when it’s freezing. How well your middle layer insulates is a huge factor in how you feel during your workout—too much insulation and you’ll be sweating before you start. Too little, and you’ll get a bad case of the shivers (or way worse, hypothermia).

What should you look for in a mid layer?

Know Your Temps: Check that forecast and insulate to match. Frigid temps call for high-tech insulating materials like a down vest or jacket, but if it’s just chilly, adding a thin fleece to the mix may just do the trick.

Layer Your Layers: Your mid layers don’t have to be just one layer. Keep in mind what you want to do and how warm you might get, and layer accordingly. Just a bit cool? Stock up on layering tees or long sleeve shirts. All day snow play? Add on women’s jackets and vests or women’s sweaters.

Check Out That Booty: Don’t leave your bottom half out in the cold—women’s pants range in thickness and warmth, so put some thought into your pant choice so your legs and booty get the warmth they need, too.

Know Your Goods: Materials matter, so make sure your mid layer matches your adventure (and the forecast).

• Fleece: 
A great lightweight mid layer, fleece keeps you warm, stays breathable, and dries fast. Make sure you put a wind blocking outer layer in the mix though—otherwise you’ll feel every little breeze that comes your way.
• Down: 
The queen of insulating materials, women’s down vests and jackets pack down small and insulate the best. Down can be pricey, but a quality down jacket can make the difference between joy and misery on the slopes.
• Synthetic: 
While synthetics aren’t quite as insulating as down, they’ll keep you warm even when damp—a great option when rain or snow is on the horizon.

Double Duty: Many women’s jackets and vests have an outer shell that has some wind and rain resistance built in. For quick adventures in not-so-extreme weather, a quality down or synthetic jacket on top of a base layer or long sleeve shirt might be all the layering mojo you need.

BACK TO TOP


Outer Layers: Keep us Protected

What is an outer layer?

Your outer layer is the piece that’s exposed to the elements. Ideally, it’s also the piece that keeps the elements out, and you nice and toasty inside. Most outer layers consist of a water-resistant or water-proof shell jacket designed to be worn over an insulating mid layer. (Sometimes combo jackets are sold with a soft outer shell and removable insulating mid layer. These can be great options if you feel like both pieces are right for your activity.)

What should you look for in an outer layer?

Keep Breathing: Sure waterproof might sound like a good idea, but most waterproof or windproof shell jackets aren’t breathable, which means all that sweat you’re creating has nowhere to go. Look for water-resistance and breathability in a shell jacket to stay comfortable during a workout.

Consider your Cash: There’s a huge range of costs in outer layers, from simple shell jackets to expedition-level gear. Our advice? Figure out what type of outer layer you’ll get the most use out of, and what works for the activities you’re doing. Then buy the highest quality one you can afford.

Make it Rain: Make sure your outer layer is treated with a water repellant. Instead of soaking in, rain should roll right off.

BACK TO TOP


What’s the Best Layering for my Cool Weather Sport?

When it comes down to it, your layering game is a very personal one, but here at T9 we’ve got some tried and true tricks to keeping comfy when we’re out conquering our own winter wonderlands.

women snowshoeing on a mountain
woman running wearing a vest

Winter Hiking:

What to look for:

Winter Running:

What to look for:

Skiing:

What to look for:

  • Ski base layers that wick sweat while helping keep us warm.
  • Water-resistant women’s pants and outer shell jackets to keep wipeouts from sticking with us.
  • Layering tees and long sleeve t-shirt styles that are easy to take off or add on.
  • Women’s sweater styles that include merino wool for lightweight insulation that adjusts to your body temperature while keeping odor at bay.

BACK TO TOP


TOP PICKS: LAYERING CLOTHES FOR WINTER

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Layering Clothes: The T9 Guide to Staying Warm When the Temps Get Low

women snowshoeing in New Zealand

The key to staying comfortable, whatever the weather? It’s all about that layer. Layering clothing well takes a little prep work, but don’t sweat it—we’ve got all the layering basics you need to know to stay warm, dry and rock any winter adventure that comes your way.


Why Layer Clothes?

Layering clothing for winter helps keep us feeling just right, no matter the forecast—layers can keep us from being too chilled at the beginning of our workout or too hot in the middle. How to layer clothes is individual to every person (layers=our own personal thermostat) but once you get the basics, it’s a handy little skill that’ll come in useful again and again.

BACK TO TOP


How Do I Layer Clothes For Fall & Winter?

Whether you’re slaying the slopes or just sneaking in a quick hike, there are three main components to layering clothing for winter:

Base Layer: 
a snug-fitting, sweat-wicking foundation piece.
Mid Layer: 
an insulating piece (or two) to keep us toasty.
Outer Layer: 
a water-resistant or water-proof shell that protects us from the elements.

Each of these layering pieces work together to keep you going when the temps drop. Read on to get essential tips on how to pick the best layering clothes for winter.

base layer, mid layer, outer layer

BACK TO TOP


Base Layers Keep Us Dry

What is a base layer?

A base layer is just like it sounds—an undershirt or a bottom layer you put on first, so it’s the layer that’s most in contact with your skin. Its main job is to wick away sweat so your skin stays dry. This super important piece of the layering puzzle often gets left behind, but without good base layers and long underwear, you’re pretty much destined to be a sweaty, soggy (and when it’s cold outside, soggy=chilly) mess.

What should you look for in a base layer?

Keep it Snug: For a base layer to work their wicking magic, it has to be in contact with your skin, so a snug fit is best.

Know your Goods: Ditch the scratchies and look for quality materials that wick away moisture and are comfy to the touch.

• Merino Wool Base Layers: 
Forget your granny’s itchy wool, Merino wool underwear are top performing base layers when it comes to being wicking, stink-proof and ultra-cozy.
• Synthetic Base Layers:
Durable and easy to find, long underwear made out of polyester, nylon, spandex (or a combo) are super-wicking, comfortably stretchy and odor resistant enough to go days between washing.

Choose Your Weight: Base layers and women’s long underwear come in different weights, from light to heavy. While the best base layer weight for your activity is really up to you, remember: your base layer’s job isn’t to keep you warm—it’s to keep you dry. Deciding between a couple pairs of long underwear? We’ll always recommend going with lighter weight but better wicking. Leave the insulation to the mid layers!

BACK TO TOP


Mid layers: Keep us warm

What is a mid layer?

The job of a mid layer is to trap our body heat, keeping us warm, even when it’s freezing. How well your middle layer insulates is a huge factor in how you feel during your workout—too much insulation and you’ll be sweating before you start. Too little, and you’ll get a bad case of the shivers (or way worse, hypothermia).

What should you look for in a mid layer?

Know Your Temps: Check that forecast and insulate to match. Frigid temps call for high-tech insulating materials like a down vest or jacket, but if it’s just chilly, adding a thin fleece to the mix may just do the trick.

Layer Your Layers: Your mid layers don’t have to be just one layer. Keep in mind what you want to do and how warm you might get, and layer accordingly. Just a bit cool? Stock up on layering tees or long sleeve shirts. All day snow play? Add on women’s jackets and vests or women’s sweaters.

Check Out That Booty: Don’t leave your bottom half out in the cold—women’s pants range in thickness and warmth, so put some thought into your pant choice so your legs and booty get the warmth they need, too.

Know Your Goods: Materials matter, so make sure your mid layer matches your adventure (and the forecast).

• Fleece: 
A great lightweight mid layer, fleece keeps you warm, stays breathable, and dries fast. Make sure you put a wind blocking outer layer in the mix though—otherwise you’ll feel every little breeze that comes your way.
• Down: 
The queen of insulating materials, women’s down vests and jackets pack down small and insulate the best. Down can be pricey, but a quality down jacket can make the difference between joy and misery on the slopes.
• Synthetic: 
While synthetics aren’t quite as insulating as down, they’ll keep you warm even when damp—a great option when rain or snow is on the horizon.

Double Duty: Many women’s jackets and vests have an outer shell that has some wind and rain resistance built in. For quick adventures in not-so-extreme weather, a quality down or synthetic jacket on top of a base layer or long sleeve shirt might be all the layering mojo you need.

BACK TO TOP


Outer Layers: Keep us Protected

What is an outer layer?

Your outer layer is the piece that’s exposed to the elements. Ideally, it’s also the piece that keeps the elements out, and you nice and toasty inside. Most outer layers consist of a water-resistant or water-proof shell jacket designed to be worn over an insulating mid layer. (Sometimes combo jackets are sold with a soft outer shell and removable insulating mid layer. These can be great options if you feel like both pieces are right for your activity.)

What should you look for in an outer layer?

Keep Breathing: Sure waterproof might sound like a good idea, but most waterproof or windproof shell jackets aren’t breathable, which means all that sweat you’re creating has nowhere to go. Look for water-resistance and breathability in a shell jacket to stay comfortable during a workout.

Consider your Cash: There’s a huge range of costs in outer layers, from simple shell jackets to expedition-level gear. Our advice? Figure out what type of outer layer you’ll get the most use out of, and what works for the activities you’re doing. Then buy the highest quality one you can afford.

Make it Rain: Make sure your outer layer is treated with a water repellant. Instead of soaking in, rain should roll right off.

BACK TO TOP


What’s the Best Layering for my Cool Weather Sport?

When it comes down to it, your layering game is a very personal one, but here at T9 we’ve got some tried and true tricks to keeping comfy when we’re out conquering our own winter wonderlands.

women snowshoeing on a mountain
woman running wearing a vest

Winter Hiking:

What to look for:

Winter Running:

What to look for:

Skiing:

What to look for:

  • Ski base layers that wick sweat while helping keep us warm.
  • Water-resistant women’s pants and outer shell jackets to keep wipeouts from sticking with us.
  • Layering tees and long sleeve t-shirt styles that are easy to take off or add on.
  • Women’s sweater styles that include merino wool for lightweight insulation that adjusts to your body temperature while keeping odor at bay.

BACK TO TOP


TOP PICKS: LAYERING CLOTHES FOR WINTER
Ravine Short Sleeve Tee - Solid Ravine Short Sleeve Tee - Solid
$59
Ravine Muscle Tank - Solid Ravine Muscle Tank - Solid
$49
Vitality Jacket - Solid Vitality Jacket - Solid
$99
Epic Hoodie Epic Hoodie
$95
Break A Sweat 1/4 Zip Hoodie Break A Sweat 1/4 Zip Hoodie
$99
La Exploradora 1/2 Zip Windbreaker La Exploradora 1/2 Zip Windbreaker
La Exploradora 1/2 Zip Windbreaker: New Badge
$80
Joyride Hoodie Joyride Hoodie
Joyride Hoodie: New Badge
$85
Mad Dash Reversible 7/8 Running Tights - Solid Mad Dash Reversible 7/8 Running Tights - Solid
$89
Full Swing Tank Top Full Swing Tank Top
$52
Circadian Leggings Circadian Leggings
$80
Power Up Quilted Snap Pullover Power Up Quilted Snap Pullover
$118
Full Swing V Neck Tee Full Swing V Neck Tee
$56
Embark Long Sleeve Top Embark Long Sleeve Top
$89
Sun Valley Long Sleeve Shirt Sun Valley Long Sleeve Shirt
Sun Valley Long Sleeve Shirt: New Color Badge
$149
Shanti High Waisted 7/8 Leggings Shanti High Waisted 7/8 Leggings
$79
La Exploradora Fleece Pullover La Exploradora Fleece Pullover
$90
Zion Hiking Tights Zion Hiking Tights
$100
Osten Packable Hiking Jacket Osten Packable Hiking Jacket
$179
Fly Rite Windbreaker Fly Rite Windbreaker
$130
Thrive Crew Neck Sweatshirt Thrive Crew Neck Sweatshirt
$70
Cold Killer 2.0 Pants - Regular Cold Killer 2.0 Pants - Regular
$119
Evapp Waterproof Jacket Evapp Waterproof Jacket
$200
Freestyle Leggings Freestyle Leggings
$110
Graber's Extra Waterproof Jacket Graber's Extra Waterproof Jacket
$159
Backcountry Hotpants Insulated Pants Backcountry Hotpants Insulated Pants
$199
Twin Flames Camp Poncho Twin Flames Camp Poncho
$100
Skadi Fleece Lined Pants Skadi Fleece Lined Pants
$139
Fortuitous Down Vest Dress Fortuitous Down Vest Dress
$210
Shredy Ski Pants Shredy Ski Pants
$149
Wonder Woman Long Sleeve Top - Solid Wonder Woman Long Sleeve Top - Solid
$100
Small Batch Fleece Dress Small Batch Fleece Dress
$129
Spark 2.0 Leggings - Solid Spark 2.0 Leggings - Solid
$49 $22 - $49
Mad Dash Lite 1/4 Zip Pullover - Perforated Mad Dash Lite 1/4 Zip Pullover - Perforated
$89 $69 - $89
Grace 2.0 Long Sleeve - Solid Grace 2.0 Long Sleeve - Solid
Price reduced from $69 to $55
The Stevie Full Zip Sweater The Stevie Full Zip Sweater
Price reduced from $175 to $79
Ascent 2.0 Tights Ascent 2.0 Tights
Price reduced from $99 to $48
Manresa Hoodie - Sashiko Manresa Hoodie - Sashiko
Price reduced from $99 to $79
Mad Dash Reversible Crop Tights - Jungle Mirage Mad Dash Reversible Crop Tights - Jungle Mirage
Price reduced from $89 to $72
Eighth Day 2.0 Tights Eighth Day 2.0 Tights
Price reduced from $69 to $39
Kestrel Vest Kestrel Vest
$130 $99 - $130
Tam Short Sleeve Top Tam Short Sleeve Top
$50
Peregrin Jacket Peregrin Jacket
Price reduced from $150 to $119
Everlasting Sweater Tunic Everlasting Sweater Tunic
$199 $69 - $99
Mad Dash Reversible Crop Tights - Napili/Poipu Mad Dash Reversible Crop Tights - Napili/Poipu
Price reduced from $99 to $79
Triple R Oversized Sweatshirt Triple R Oversized Sweatshirt
Price reduced from $79 to $39
Bear Mountain Fleece Bear Mountain Fleece
$119 $55 - $69
Snow Slayer 2.0 Pants Snow Slayer 2.0 Pants
$129 $89 - $129
Cragmatic Hoodie Cragmatic Hoodie
Price reduced from $130 to $109